The Bahrain International Circuit secured the inaugural FIA Institute Centre of Excellence trophy in a pre-awards ceremony at the FIA Gala in Monaco on Friday night.

The BIC is the first grand prix circuit to receive the prestigious award, which aims to 'encourage excellence in all aspects of motor sport safety'.

"Each FIA Centre of Excellence exemplifies the high standards expected by the FIA Institute in terms of technology and the way it relates to best medical, marshalling and race control safety," read a statement from the FIA.

"The BIC has demonstrated its commitment to innovation and the development of new safety technology within motor sport - particular as the sport develops in the Middle East region."

The hand-crafted sterling silver trophy was collected by Martin Whitaker, general manager of the BIC: "The Centre of Excellence is a fantastic honour and we are very proud to receive it," said Whitaker. "The Bahrain International Circuit has strived to maintain the absolute best in standards and to set a benchmark for other circuits can follow.

"The 'Think Before You Drive' campaign has been a springboard to many other initiatives programmes for the BIC which we are beginning to implement but which would not have been possible without the full support of the FIA and the Centre of Excellence Award is the backbone of this support."

The Crown Prince of Bahrain, Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, meanwhile was also happy to see the circuit get the award: "The FIA has always shown the Bahrain International Circuit support which has encouraged us to go beyond the expected," he continued. "Honouring the circuit with such an award makes the Kingdom even more proud of our achievements.

"Our country continually strives to maintain one of the top Formula One circuits in the world. Everyone who works directly or indirectly with the BIC all share the significance of this prestigious acknowledgement."



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